User Interface, Erase Tool and Select Tool Improvements

As a primary user of just an Apple Pencil, I would love to see a couple UI and UX improvements to make the experience more streamlined for my use case (I understand a lot of people just connect a mouse and keyboard to their ipad)

In my opinion a faster way to interact with tools and their sub items like inferencing and options would be to introduce a gesture system. See example where I used the web interface UI as background:


upon releasing on the subitem, the tool would switch and you could use it in the sketchup environment.

Adding to this, I’d like to comment on the use of the eraser tool. Anyone else find scrubbing lines to erase them really slow? It takes time and is actually pretty difficult to be precise with. I’d love to see just the original tap, hold and drag over elements to erase them instead. Example in the SketchUp 2021 edition I have on my desktop (don’t know if this is different in other desktop versions)

Also, while the implementation of a lasso in select is great, I would love the “inverse” function to just be default.
It has add and remove built in and i’ve found it much quicker to use. Isn’t having add and remove in the menu unnecessary given inverse does both? But idk, maybe people use add and remove a ton :man_shrugging:

Otherwise the app is actually really powerful and i think the devs have done a great job so far. Thanks guys and I truly believe this can be the future of sketchup :grin:

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Thanks @arjames16 for all of this great feedback!!!

re: the toolbar UX patterns – I get what you’re saying… & we’ll give it some thought. Question for you: Given that most all of the tool modes and inference lock options are toggles (tap to turn 'em on, tap to turn 'em off) would it be frustrating to have to long-press and swipe each time you wanted to interact with a button in the Tool Mode toolbar?

re: the Eraser tool, completely agree! We’ve got something in the pipeline for that and it’s :fire:
re: setting invert to the default mode, I think I’ve heard that one before… ehem @JQL :grinning: – Makes sense, and it’s on the list. If not by default, then perhaps as an optional app preference.

Again, thanks for the feedback – please, keep it coming!!!

@arjames16 I wanted to close the loop on one of the points of feedback you raised earlier. With today’s launch of SketchUp for iPad v6.1, I am hoping that you will find the experience of using the Eraser tool to be much more delightful.

Indeed. It would be great.

I got a little frustrated by the eraser tool promises on 6.1. Even if it’s much better on large models it’s still very slow and erratic.

As I work mostly with large models made in desktop, this is still not there yet for me. :S sorry for spoiling…

What I’d like is to use a finger tap and hold along with drawing with the pencil for modifiers and also inference locking.

Maybe two and three fingers for other modifiers.

I really don’t like so many pencil pointing and taps on screen for tools and I certainly dislike having tools on the left screen, where my arm is always flying over my model, travelling too much and hiding it.

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I second the “one and two” finger modifier toggle.

@JQL checking in on your comments above re: the Eraser and Double-tap commands still being slow/unresponsive when working with large models. I spent some time playing around with a file you shared with me a while ago… one that’s 350Mb. I have iPadOS 16.1 Beta 11 installed on my iPad Pro and things are working… kinda OK. What I’m seeing is that double tapping with the pencil when the select tool is active, reliably results in my being able to get into Edit Group/Edit Component 100% of the time – but it is sometimes taking 10-15 seconds for the model to redraw, with the group or component open. Similalrly with the eraser tool. I can draw with the Eraser, and it takes a few seconds to get the result, but it does still reliably erase all of the edges I’ve drawn over the top of.

While at 3DBC I did notice in a couple of classes that these sorts of ‘quick actions’ were a bit more unreliable for users who had one of those ‘paper films’ applied to their iPad screens. Are you also using one of those, by chance?

I’m not using paperlike (I think that’s the name of the brand) but I’ve been thinking about it. I’m a bit tired of writing on the glass screen. The iPad was so much fun at start that I didn’t care about that. Now it’s still a lot of fun but I start getting picky with the little things and that is a huge little thing.

What I find strange is that the double tapping takes much more time than the “right click menu” edit component function.

At least it used to take, I’ve not been using SU for iPad too much lately, I’ve been doing work that can only be done in the desktop.

I bought something called “Paperfeel”, but I never got around to putting it on and trying it. I do sometime put a piece of paper over my Wacom tablet.

OK, noted. The pencil vs context menu performance is something I’ll make a note to dig into.

(Keeping the interesting off topic discussion)

I’m also starting to feel the need for bigger screen space. I wonder if apple ever will make a 17 screen iPad… or a Mac with Apple Pencil Support.

I’m also wondering if @MikeTadros and the Sketchup guys will push for touch and stylus support as well as markup and project markups into faces on Desktop for Windows.

Taking any discussion off topic is my superpower :grimacing:

I just have a plain iPad G6 and Apple Pencil 1, so I have the itch for bigger and better. I can’t even do the Double-tap thing of the Apple Pencil 2. I’m wondering about that improvisation aspect though. If I get a bigger one, I’m less likely to carry it around with me and then won’t have it when that Elevator Speech moment presents itself, but that’s wandering even further off topic.

I do know that leaving my laptop at home and bringing just the iPad to a meeting with my project file of ~130MB was a total fail; I couldn’t get far without crashing and we resorted to paper prints. I’d be interested to know what you and @MikeTadros are using that can at least muddle through 350MB.

I had the chance to attend WWDC in Cupertino this past summer and was begging for exactly that from anyone who would listen :rofl:

M1 iPad Pro. I also have iPadOS16 (Beta) installed and am seeing a substantive improvement in performance due to the OS allowing for more RAM to be allocated to the SketchUp app. The availability of these OS-level improvements, however, is limited to M1 iPads.

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Everything @MikeTadros said about device and OS.

Mine is the 8Gb RAM version though, maybe yours is the 16Gb and that’s may be the difference?

I should have probably gone for the 16Gb and more disk space, but the 256Gb seemed enough and the price difference was starting to grow. I knew I could repent, but since this is only the second apple device I own (first was an iPod mini from the beginning of the century…) I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it…

Let’s face it though, there’s a huge difference in owning an iPod Mini and an iPad Pro, but it still doesn’t justify paying more for a 12.9 piece of glass than for a full blown overpowered windows desktop.

I mean it’s a piece of glass where one can draw in, but one can also still draw on paper.

I thought this was true… But I justify purchases by how often I use them and break the price down that way. My iPad has become my main device (says the user typing this on her phone while her iPad sits in her lap) and I have zero regrets paying for this instead of a desktop (which I also have).

I thought I would regret, I really did.

But no. Not for one instant.

I wasn’t trying to point the finger.

And I think you got me wrong. I don’t regret a bit having invested in the iPad Pro. I just thoght that the 16gb would be overkill for drawing.

If I had known that it would be key for working with my models inside SketchUp for iPad, at the time, I might have thought better. However, even knowing that it could have a positive impact on working with SketchUp for iPad I think the 16gb would be overkill.

SketchUp for iPad is great but limited on what you can do with huge and heavy models, while it’s great fun and very useful while models are still basic.

For someone like me I still don’t think the 16gb would be the best option, but as SketchUp for iPad keeps progressing and if USDz exports for Procreate start working, I might change my mind.

In my case though, I would never find an ipad as good as investment as a desktop. No matter how long I use it, I could keep working fine as I did before, without iPad, while it would be impossible to work without a desktop, SketchUp Pro, layout, rendering apps as well as plugins.

I still have paper and printer and I still draw on notebooks and other media, I can still paint or create phisical models. The iPad is just an extra for me. Very useful, easy and fun, but not decisive.

It’s very interesting that it is central for you.

No no, it was my strange way of trying to agree with you. I have a massive homebuilt desktop that I love, have been using and upgrading Frankenstein style for years. I had an original pro and then a couple years newer mini for years and did all my drafting and painting/drawing on in procreate since it came out. I did all my animations in Callipeg. My decision to get a newer one was because neither of them seemed to be keeping up anymore. I bought the one I use now, and within weeks SketchUp became amazing to me.

I think the biggest reason I use the iPad almost exclusively now for everything, is that my life is currently very demanding and I actually am not permitted long moments to myself where sitting at the computer is possible.

You know though… Even with the biggest screen size, I would definitely buy a bigger one of there was one.

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Definetely bigger! For me, would mean bigger screen and maybe more RAM for dealing with bigger sketchup models. That would allow me to use the markup tool more swiftly.

Now, to be honest, the ideal for me, would be to have markup tool transition to windows Sketchup Pro and have touch and stylus support in it too. I’m using my iPad as a drawing tablet for windows using an app that connects it to the desktop via wifi or usb cable, but Sketchup doesn’t support touch for zoom/pan/undo though some of the tools work fairly well with stylus tap inputs.

It would be very easy to, instead of going through the work of sending the files to iPad, simply draw on Sketchup Pro.

Where this would lead though, would be that my next iPad would probably be a Windows Surface or any laptop with touch and stylus support and enough screen and power to keep sketchup running without restraints.

There are several windows touch/stylus computers, while apple only has a tablet… very nice, but not as nice.

What this particular tablet has, is that the apps are really meant to be used with the Apple Pencil, where windows apps are mouse and keyboard and that’s where iPad still pays up.

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And i am here hoping for SU4iPad to remain compatible with my non m1 chip a little while longer. While i wait to upgrade to this mythical 17” ipad. Sign me up.

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